Edwards Lifesciences has been granted a patent for a method of quickly and easily implanting a heart valve prosthesis without sutures. The method involves using a delivery system with a shaft and balloon catheter, and a safety member to prevent premature catheter advancement and balloon inflation. The balloon is inflated within the expandable frame of the heart valve for outward connection to the valve annulus. GlobalData’s report on Edwards Lifesciences gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Edwards Lifesciences, prosthetic cardiac valves was a key innovation area identified from patents. Edwards Lifesciences's grant share as of September 2023 was 46%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a method of implanting a heart valve

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Edwards Lifesciences Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11775613B2) describes a method for delivering and implanting a prosthetic heart valve at a valve annulus. The method involves using a delivery system that includes a shaft with a lumen and a balloon catheter extending through the shaft. The balloon catheter has a balloon on its distal end and a proximal luer connector. The heart valve, which has an expandable frame, is mounted on the distal end of the shaft.

To perform the procedure, the distal end of the shaft is advanced so that the heart valve, in its contracted state, is located at the implant position adjacent to the annulus. A safety member covers the luer connector, ensuring that the balloon cannot expand until the safety member is removed. The balloon catheter is then displaced distally to the advanced position, and the balloon is located within the expandable frame of the heart valve. The safety member is removed from covering the luer connector, and the balloon is inflated within the expandable frame.

The patent also describes additional features and variations of the method. For example, the step of displacing the balloon catheter cannot occur until the safety member is removed from covering the luer connector. The method may also involve converting the expandable frame from its contracted state to its expanded state during the inflation step. The delivery system may include a handpiece and a thumb plate connected to displace the balloon catheter relative to the handpiece. The safety member may comprise a luer guard fixed with respect to the shaft and surrounding the luer connector.

Overall, this patent presents a method for delivering and implanting a prosthetic heart valve using a specific delivery system and steps to ensure safe and controlled expansion of the valve. The method aims to provide a reliable and effective technique for heart valve replacement procedures.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.